Campus & Community

Students & Alumnae/i Share: How Simmons Taught Me to Lead


At Simmons, we pride ourselves in educating the next generation of leaders. Take a look at how these students and alums felt empowered by their Simmons education.

Taylor Paige Nealand '14

Taylor Paige Nealand with her french bulldog, North

Simmons taught me to be a strong woman. I meet a lot of different people every day — some are great and kind, and some are pushy and hard. Simmons taught me how to stick up for myself and handle myself as a strong business woman. 

Read Taylor's story


Charlene Hollins '09

Headshot of Charlene Hollins

At Simmons, you learn the importance of the “Simmons Voice” which gives you the ability to speak your truth with a deep sense of purpose and value. Obtaining these skills provides you with the leadership qualities that you need to succeed. Knowing who you are provides an opportunity to encourage, empower, and motivate others to overcome barriers and be the foundation of change.

Read Charlene's Story

Emily Trussler '18MS, '18C

Headshot of Emily Trussler

Simmons fosters a belief in yourself and your abilities. While it might sound clichéd, it really is the difference between “why me?” and “why not me?”

When I was an undergraduate, I never thought that I would present my research at an international conference or work in a world-renowned institution. The support I had from Simmons students and faculty truly built my confidence from the ground up — this allowed me to attempt tasks and career moves that I never would have believed I could tackle otherwise.

Read Emily's story

Eliza Brown '10MFA

Eliza Brown in the Eric Carle Museum bookstore.

I’m such an introvert — probably most book people are, honestly. But my years at Simmons truly helped me become so much more confident and empowered, especially when speaking and presenting... 

The professors — especially the amazing Cathie Mercier — kindly, but strategically, forced me to speak up and to share my thoughts because they were worth hearing. I now manage a staff of booksellers, curate an entire bookstore of titles based on my personal opinions, chat with customers and regularly talk books in professional settings.

Read Eliza's story

Megan Ludgate '16

Megan Ludgate sitting on a dock.

While at Simmons, I gained an ability to think critically and guide my own learning... Simmons offers a variety of opportunities to learn and grow as both an academic student and as a leader in the community — take every opportunity that comes your way, you never know what experience will be the catalyst for a lifelong passion.

Read Megan's story

June Scott '87

Headshot of June Scott

My experience at Simmons allowed me to pursue interests that would make a difference in the lives of others and that my voice mattered. The deans and professors embraced varied learning styles and pushed me to go out of my comfort zone and break through barriers that still exist today. 

Read June's story

Jacqui Gerbracht '94

Jacqui Gerbracht

Within a hospital environment, most of our care is provided by working together as a team. What leadership means to me is having the experience and conviction to provide my input when necessary. My first exposure to this came from Simmons faculty which continually stressed the importance of advocating for patients.

Read Jacqui's story

Julia Navon '18MS, '18C

Julia Navon in Ireland

At Simmons, I learned that leaders must be collaborative and welcome input from others. A collaborative approach is necessary because people have important ideas and everyone’s opinion should be heard.

We had several group projects and presentations at Simmons that pushed me outside of my comfort zone and put me in leadership roles. These projects helped me gain confidence in myself as a leader and allowed me to become more comfortable speaking up in professional situations.

Read Julia's story

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